Creamed Hen of the Woods with Thin Egg Noodles

Preparation info

  • Serves

    4 to 6

    as a first course
    • Difficulty

      Easy

Appears in

Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini

By Elizabeth Schneider

Published 2001

  • About

When heated, these polypores develop a nutty, woodsy aroma and flavor and an al dente consistency—provided cooking is relatively long and gentle. (Count on doubled intensity and firmer texture if you’ve landed the wild fungus.) The few elements create a subtle sauce that is rich tasting but only lightly creamy. For a more unctuous effect, use ¾ cup cream and cook it down a little more.

Ingredients

  • ½ pound hen of the woods
  • 1 cup rich mushroom, vegetable, or chicken stock
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ pound dried narrow egg noodles
  • Minced parsley leaves

    Method

    1. Trim any very tough dark bits from mushroom as needed (most or all is usually edible). Break mass into bite-size pieces, cleaning with a soft brush. (For wild specimens, see cleaning instructions in Preparation.)
    2. Combine mushroom pieces with broth in saucepan that holds them closely. Simmer, covered, until almost tender—this can take from 5 to 20 minutes or so, depending upon the specific mushroom.
    3. Uncover, add cream, and simmer very gently (do not hurry the process) until flavors develop and blend and cream thickens very slightly, about 20 minutes. Add Worcestershire, salt, and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.
    4. Cook noodles in boiling salted water until tender. Drain, then return to pot. Heat creamed mushrooms. Toss with noodles over lowest heat. Sprinkle with parsley. Distribute among heated plates.